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NS Teens: Making Safer Online Choices - National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Grades
5 to 12
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips,...more
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips, and more, all communicating the need for internet responsibility. If you want general internet safety information, visit the sister site to NSTeens, NetSmartz Workshop: (reviewed here). ESL and ELL teachers will love the Spanish version of this site (including Spanish downloads). This site requires Flash.

tag(s): bullying (50), cyberbullying (42), internet safety (105), safety (91), social networking (115), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Teachers, you will find plenty of resources for teaching net safety to teens when you click on 'teaching materials' at the bottom left of the homepage (this takes you to the sister site - NetSmartz Workshop). Videos, fact sheets, lesson plans and activities await you there.

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the video clips or comics. Have students create their own internet safety videos and share them using a tool such as YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). List this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. You will also want to share it with parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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College Grazing - College Grazing

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is another entry into the college search market. Designed to provide resources to prospective students, their parents, and their teachers or guidance counselors, the site...more
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This site is another entry into the college search market. Designed to provide resources to prospective students, their parents, and their teachers or guidance counselors, the site offers the usual links to financial aid information, advice on writing college essays and career guidance. Many of the links lead directly to resources developed by the US Department of Education or the US Department of Labor; reliable sources, but nothing new or innovative here. The fresh content here is a series of 13 short self-discovery quizzes that purport to help students sort out their feelings about college, and determine their relative readiness to attend. In keeping with the "grazing" theme (complete with cow logos and illustrations), these quizzes are called "munchings." It's kind of hokey, but it may be catchy enough to be effective. Once the student has completed all 13 "munchings," the site will generate a personalized report summarizing student responses. What is produced might generate interesting discussion among students or within families.

Using the site requires a log in (be sure to enable "cookies"). Log-in requires some personal information (first name, surname, email address, and description - if you are a student, parent, or teacher). Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using their own names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

There is no charge for using the site, and advertising is very minimal and fairly unobtrusive. Parts of this website require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (47), financial aid (16)

In the Classroom

Completing the 13 "munchings" might make a good independent assignment for college bound students, followed by some sort of reflection essay. The tips for writing a good college application essay might also prove helpful in a writing class. We'll pretend we didn't think about what generally results when a cow digests its "munchings" and hope for a higher quality end product.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Grandparents Day - National Grandparents Day Council

Grades
K to 6
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This site focuses on those important people: grandparents. Learn about the history of the holiday, when the holiday is celebrated, and find numerous classroom ideas to celebrate these...more
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This site focuses on those important people: grandparents. Learn about the history of the holiday, when the holiday is celebrated, and find numerous classroom ideas to celebrate these important people in our students' lives. There is a link For Teachers with a WebQuest (designed for middle to upper level elementary or middle school students). Under the link The Task you will find several individual activities that students of any age could do with their grandparent. Another link Activities and Resources offers a lot of information for teachers and parents. There are video clips, songs, printable pages, and more. This site requires Flash, Media Player, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): family (59), parents (58), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Be aware that some students may have recently lost a grandparent; be sure to provide other options for some of the activities (for example, interview an aunt or uncle, rather than a grandparent).

Share the video clips (about the history of the holiday) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Visit the Task page to learn several ways to incorporate this holiday into your language arts, social studies, or even music classes. You may want to share this site with families on your website or in your class newsletter.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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What Do You Like? - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Grades
7 to 12
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This site explores careers. Click on one of twelve choices based on "What Do You Like." Some of the choices include Law, Helping People, Managing Money, Science, Reading, and Building...more
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This site explores careers. Click on one of twelve choices based on "What Do You Like." Some of the choices include Law, Helping People, Managing Money, Science, Reading, and Building and Fixing Things. Once you click on "what they like," you are guided to another page that lists specific jobs in that area (each area provides about 5-6 job descriptions). Click on the specific job to learn about necessary preparation, pay, job availability, and possible futures. There is very thorough information and statistics about each career. Also included are links to jobs that share some of the same qualities and general links for further research. Teachers, don't miss the Teacher's Guide link.

tag(s): careers (134)

In the Classroom

Share this website with students as they plan for life after high school. Put this link on your teacher web page for families to use as well. This is definitely a link that guidance counselors should save in their favorites, along with any other teacher helping students make post-high school decisions. More advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy learning about culture in the U.S. by looking at job descriptions here.

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Build A Flag - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 5
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This site tickles students' creativity by having them create flags all about themselves. Students choose colors, hobbies, pets, sports, climate and/or location, letters, and numbers...more
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This site tickles students' creativity by having them create flags all about themselves. Students choose colors, hobbies, pets, sports, climate and/or location, letters, and numbers to represent their personality and life. Once the flag is completed, students are able to print the flag, start over, or send to a friend. This site is simple to maneuver (simple "click and drag"). The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flags (22)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent activity to do as a first week of school "ice breaker." Introduce yourself to the class by demonstrating as you create a flag about yourself. Share your favorite colors, name, favorite sports, hobbies, pets, and other information. Then have students work on individual computers to create their own flags. Print the flags and use them to create a "get to know the class" bulletin board.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Very cool for getting to know kids at the beginning of the school year. Easy to use for the younger grades. Michelle, ON, Grades: 0 - 3

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Community Club - Scholastic

Grades
K to 3
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Learn about people in your neighborhood and the jobs they do: veterinarian, librarian, pizza maker, utility worker, mayor, police officer, firefighter, and pediatrician. Click on any...more
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Learn about people in your neighborhood and the jobs they do: veterinarian, librarian, pizza maker, utility worker, mayor, police officer, firefighter, and pediatrician. Click on any of the "people" to walk and talk through an informative tour about that career. You can click on the audio button to hear the information read aloud. There are also lesson plans and standards available at the Teachers Guide link that is available with each of the "people." The site also features online quizzes, lots of pictures, printables, and more.

tag(s): careers (134), fire (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help your students understand the concepts of community and community helpers. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share these useful people with your class. Highlight a career each week (or day) during a unit about community. Divide students into 8 groups (2-3 students per group) and have each group learn about a different career. Have the groups create simple PowerPoint presentations to share with the class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Remember that PowerPoint shows print well into "big books." Extend your "community" by creating a class wiki about your school community, complete with digital pictures and interviews!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Imagination Cafe Online Magazine - Rosanne Tolin

Grades
2 to 7
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Check into this original online magazine for children ages 7-12. As its name implies, the articles, games, tunes, recipes, career center, and much more-- feed the imagination of youth....more
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Check into this original online magazine for children ages 7-12. As its name implies, the articles, games, tunes, recipes, career center, and much more-- feed the imagination of youth. The feel of the magazine is positive, such as the celebrity interviews, articles on careers, contests, and quirky quizzes. The magazine has lively colors and easy access to the different sections. It's all free. Don't miss the Career-o-Rama section to learn all about different jobs! One note of caution: This magazine has an "Open Mike" area for member to submit their own comments. Sign-in, with password, is required for its use, and may need monitoring. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (134), interviews (17)

In the Classroom

Include this site on your class web page or newsletter. Use selected articles in class to teach main idea or reading strategies on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Parents would appreciate knowing about this engaging place for their children. Students are invited to submit articles or comments in several places in the magazine. Encourage your students to participate in online publication possibilities at this site -- with written parent permission, of course!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Ranking: Analyzing and Evaluating Information - Intel Education

Grades
3 to 12
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Engage your students in higher-order thinking skills with a collaborative activity using Intel Education's free Visual Ranking Tool. Visual ranking leads students though focusing, identifying,...more
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Engage your students in higher-order thinking skills with a collaborative activity using Intel Education's free Visual Ranking Tool. Visual ranking leads students though focusing, identifying, and refining criteria as they assign order or ranking to a list presented as a visual diagram. Students use a simple click and drag to organize ideas, explain their reasoning, debate differences, and reach consensus with each other. This web-based tool is accompanied by project ideas, instructional strategies, assessment tips, and research. There are also detailed lesson plans for grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. Registration is free and creates a teacher workspace in which to build the class project. The password-protected workspace is accessed through the Internet where students log on with the teacher-created ID, team ID, and password.

Teachers can use the comprehensive tutorial to learn the features of the tool. The Try the Tool section has a demonstration workspace for teachers to practice with ranking a sample list and then comparing it to other lists. Take advantage of the experiences of other teachers in six detailed unit plans that provide usable handouts and student work samples.

Be sure to disable your popup blocker as the site needs to show popup windows during the project. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get these tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): careers (134), inventors and inventions (95), migration (58), sorting (10)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and student computers for easy access or simply add it to the Favorites on your teacher web page for access from there

. Use the Visual Ranking tool to explore themes such as the role of friends, human migration, the impact of inventions, what's fair, and career choices with your students. Have student teams show and explain their diagrams to the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector.

The Visual Ranking Tool can be used at any stage of a learning project. As a pre-activity or pre-assessment, it can help students discuss their prior knowledge and identify the things that they need to research or study further. As a mid-unit activity, it can help put new learning in a context that will be more useful in the next activity. At the end of a unit, Visual Ranking may be used to assess or reflect on learning. Students can access the project workspace from home or through other Internet access points such as the public library.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Snoopy - United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

Grades
3 to 8
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Find out all you can about Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang on Snoopy.com. This site provides a variety of great comic strips that can be applied to ...more
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Find out all you can about Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang on Snoopy.com. This site provides a variety of great comic strips that can be applied to many classroom lessons. The site also provides an Author Spotlight on Charles Schulz. There is also a link for fun and games with printable pages, puzzles, word problems, and other "fun" stuff. Some of the activities require Shockwave. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72)

In the Classroom

Have students utilize and manipulate comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. School counselors will also like the Peanuts strips as conversation starters about feelings. You could even use an online comic strip maker, such as Make Beliefs Comix to create your own class or student comic strips after looking at some examples from Peanuts. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the Fun and Games . Then have students work on individual computers or with a partner to try some of the educational activities.

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The Target is You! Alcohol Advertising Quiz - Media Awareness Network

Grades
4 to 10
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth...more
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth (which according to the website, accounts for about 20% of all alcohol consumption). Click "Begin Quiz Now." The quiz is designed for grades 6-8, but could be very useful in other grades. The website teaches students that alcohol advertisements are everywhere - TV commercials, TV shows, ads in magazines, branded clothing, sponsorships at sporting events, and more. This website also has links to lesson plans about Kids, Alcohol, and Advertising. The lesson plans include learning outcomes and many details. They are designed mainly for grades 4-8. The quiz requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Share this informative on an interactive whiteboard or projector at the start of al alcohol unit. Have students guess at their seats what the correct answer would be (either on paper or by show of hands). Use the questions on the quiz as a springboard for a class discussion or class meeting about under-age drinking. Brainstorm a list together of times that they recall hearing or seeing an alcohol advertisement. Be sure to discuss the question involving the "deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol." 40% of vehicle deaths involve alcohol.

Come up with a list of ways for the students to avoid "being the target." Have the class journal, create short skits, or have small group discussions about how to handle the advertisements.

Teachers can also use this site during a drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make printable anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), sequencing (31), summarizing (14)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Owen & Mzee - Turtle Pond Publications

Grades
1 to 8
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this...more
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this website are truly amazing. The sound clips alone are guaranteed to delight your students. Teachers will find several interdisciplinary lesson plans, documentary videos, a detailed teachers' guide, a "picture pond" slide show of the area of Kenya where Owen and Mzee reside, interactive activities to learn Swahili, and more. The beauty of this website (and story) is its ability to teach acceptance, resilience, diversity, African culture, and more in a fun and engaging style. This website is truly a MUST SEE for any elementary or middle school class. Don't miss the "KIDS BOMA" link. This highly engaging link includes sing-alongs, games, video makers, and even "Mzee's Swahili Rebus". Many of the activities require Flash, some require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): diversity (35)

In the Classroom

Opportunities abound at this image-rich website. Share the documentaries, video clips, and the story of Owen and Mzee on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a peek at the "ready to go" lesson ideas for grades 2-7. Use this excellent resource as a springboard for a class meeting on acceptance and diversity. Use the link for "KIDS BOMA" as a learning center. Share the video slide show as an anticipatory set on a lesson about the animals of Africa.

Be sure to share this link with the parents of your students in a class newsletter or on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Math in Daily Life - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This authentic website connects math to everyday life. The website offers informational text and numerous interactive "real life" math investigations. Topics include Playing to...more
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This authentic website connects math to everyday life. The website offers informational text and numerous interactive "real life" math investigations. Topics include Playing to Win, Savings and Credit, Population Growth, Home Decorating, Cooking by Numbers, The Universal Language, & Related References . Some examples of the interactive investigations include determining whether it is smarter to buy or lease a car and how much you will save for retirement (based on how much you invest each month and how many years the money remains in the bank).

tag(s): calculators (41), money (190), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous website to use in any economics, finance, or upper-level math class. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the website and activities. Then allow your students to explore independently and fill out the interactive investigations for their own futures.

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Garfield's Comic Creator - National Institute of Health

Grades
2 to 6
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Garfield's Comic Creator is a simple site that helps students create their own comic strips using Garfield characters. Students can choose between talking bubbles and thinking bubbles...more
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Garfield's Comic Creator is a simple site that helps students create their own comic strips using Garfield characters. Students can choose between talking bubbles and thinking bubbles as well as adding various backgrounds and accessories. Click on the ?-Box to learn more about how to use this program. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory activity for talking and thinking bubbles, as well as for dialog, by sharing your own example. Students could also use these to summarize a piece of literature or even have Garfield explain a science or social studies concept. Have students print and hand in their completed work for a quick writing sample or assessment tool. The comic strips could be used in any subject area for review or enrichment.

This is also an excellent tool for counselors or emotional/autistic support teachers to use with students. Sometimes students are less threatened to write about fears, conflict, and other issues (rather than say them aloud). ES teachers can use comics to help students learn positive ways to express feelings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (105), safety (91), social networking (115)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Business Writing Help - Donna Shaw

Grades
8 to 12
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent...more
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent job breaking down the complexities of business writing to enable a student to walk through each step of the process. The website features easy-to-read instructions and samples of each type of business writing. There is also a Common English Errors link that includes audio; the information is available in text format, also. The audio feature requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource to preview on a projector before your students work independently. Utilize the various steps and examples provided to prepare your students for the "real world." Have your students create "visuals" or "reports," and then practice their presentation skills by sharing their projects with the class or beyond. Maybe have them use this site as they work in groups to request and prepare a presentation for the school board proposing a student-friendly solution to a school problem, using the tools of "the system" for their own goals. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to use as a reference when applying for jobs, etc.
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Beacon Street Girls - B*tween Productions, Inc.

Grades
4 to 7
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For those teachers, school counselors, and parents looking for a safe place for "tween" girls to feel acceptance - check out this website based on the Beacon Street Girls. This ...more
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For those teachers, school counselors, and parents looking for a safe place for "tween" girls to feel acceptance - check out this website based on the Beacon Street Girls. This website offers interactive games, details about Beacon Street Girls books, and other ways to connect with girls from around the world. You will have to steer clear of some advertising content. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): adolescence (11)

In the Classroom

Counselors working with small groups of girls may want to include this as an activity option or discussion starter in their meetings. Teachers who find that girls' interpersonal behavior is interfering with classwork, especially in middle school, may also find that this site can provide a positive activity during study halls and even provide some writing ideas for girls' journals.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Make a Child Smile - Make a Child Smile Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the ...more
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the center of the home page. Each month different children with dire physical ailments are featured. The site provides addresses of each of these children in hopes of their receiving much encouraging mail. Your students will enjoy reading about the different children featured.

tag(s): holidays (152), service projects (27)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers are always on the lookout for ways to teach generosity, caring, and service to others. Students can choose one child to "adopt" during the school year. Cards and letters (and gifts?) can be sent throughout the year, and especially during any of the holiday periods, when the spirit of 'giving' is foremost on our minds. Adopting a child through this organization promotes acceptance of diverse physically-challenged children. School counselors should embrace this site to promote the goodwill of men (children). Perhaps your student council or service club is looking for a project. Share this site as a possibility.

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Spirit of the Season - NY Times

Grades
5 to 12
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This site is a collection of seasonally-appropriate lesson plans for winter and the holiday season, including philanthropy, winter sports, and weather. In addition to lesson plans,...more
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This site is a collection of seasonally-appropriate lesson plans for winter and the holiday season, including philanthropy, winter sports, and weather. In addition to lesson plans, there are timely crossword puzzles and questions and answers about winter weather.

tag(s): christmas (66), holidays (152), sports (97), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Use this to find a curriculum-appropriate way to include the holidays in your plans. It's a great place to give students info about symbols of international religions, for example, or to explain the history and applications of volunteerism and giving. If you advise a service club, there are fresh ideas here, as well.

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